Books ( or anything else) that changed our lives

Share how you became a Christian, or experiences from your Christian life.
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Books ( or anything else) that changed our lives

Postby PaulSacramento » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:50 am

Years ago I was having many issues with God, many due to my belief that God was an uncaring and cold God and the rest because my mother, father and older sister had become JW's.
I had more than on one occasiion "yelled and screamed" at God for not caring enough about Us, for allowing the innocents to suffer, for not doing his freaking JOB!!!

My Poor wife put up with my hate ( no other word for it).

The a friend of hers gave her a book and she read it and was so moved she asked me to read it.
About God? GIVE ME A BREAK !!
She asked and made me promise.
I did.
I read.
I broke down far more than I ever thought possible.
I found in that book, the God that I had been looking for but was to busy "making up" one to hate.
I think the fact that I was also now a Father helped me to understand in ways that I had never been able.
But that book...it saved my life, my soul and made me the husband my wife deserved and the Father my children needed.
It put me on a journey to KNOW God, to be in a relationship with God, to share my love and understanding of God.
It allowed me to hear Christ's voice and to feel, for the first time ever, His love.

That book was The Shack.

Anyone else ever had a book, or anything else, change your lives?

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Re: Books ( or anything else) that changed our lives

Postby B. W. » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:37 am

PaulSacramento wrote:....Anyone else ever had a book, or anything else, change your lives?


Yes, outside the bible, was one I received back 1981 after coming to Christ entitled:

The Life and teaching of Jesus Christ, By James S Stewart (Renowned Scottish Minister)

Coming out of atheism, this book was radical to me and answered so much.

Another was a Study Book on the Book of Jeremiah but don't remember the author or title. It was given to the men's bible study group back in 1981. I was a new believer and the powers that be at the church did not think a Newbie should study such a book. It was quiet the stir and controversy. Then one man stood up for me and persuaded them to let me in on such an advanced men's bible study class. I was allowed in and I recall how awesome they study was. So those were the two main books that influenced me the most. I still have Stewart's book. Very good one for newbies too. Back then it only cost one dollar and ninety five cents.
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Re: Books ( or anything else) that changed our lives

Postby jlay » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:01 pm

It's a bit of a conflict.
The book "The Way of The Master" probably changed me the most. In one way for the better. I had a revived desire to reach the lost and I loved the method they employed. On the other hand it led me into to wrongly choosing a model of Lordship Salvation that no person can live up to. So in one sense this book really helped to spark and focus that desire. On another it led me into error. Interesting how that works. Since, Ray Comfort has become the punching bag for atheist and even for many Christians. Although clever, and I believe sincere guy, he has picked some battles he probably had no business with.

I still think using the 10 commands as questions to prick the conscience is a valid approach. Sadly, I've literally heard Ray tell people that to be saved they need to stop sinning. It's like leading the unsaved all the way to sweet fountain of salvation only to tell them they can't drink.

Like Paul, I know a lot of people who say the Shack changed their life. Even one of my spiritual mentors. I wasn't going through any spriritual crisis when I read it, but the book set off huge red flags for me. I think there are several books out right now that people say are changing their lives that I think are extremely dangerous to the church. Those are, Crazy Love, Not a Fan, and Radical. All these books seem well intentioned and point out the obvious failings of the church today. However, they preach performance based salvation under the veil of revival. Very concerning.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: Books ( or anything else) that changed our lives

Postby PaulSacramento » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:26 pm

jlay wrote:It's a bit of a conflict.
The book "The Way of The Master" probably changed me the most. In one way for the better. I had a revived desire to reach the lost and I loved the method they employed. On the other hand it led me into to wrongly choosing a model of Lordship Salvation that no person can live up to. So in one sense this book really helped to spark and focus that desire. On another it led me into error. Interesting how that works. Since, Ray Comfort has become the punching bag for atheist and even for many Christians. Although clever, and I believe sincere guy, he has picked some battles he probably had no business with.

I still think using the 10 commands as questions to prick the conscience is a valid approach. Sadly, I've literally heard Ray tell people that to be saved they need to stop sinning. It's like leading the unsaved all the way to sweet fountain of salvation only to tell them they can't drink.

Like Paul, I know a lot of people who say the Shack changed their life. Even one of my spiritual mentors. I wasn't going through any spriritual crisis when I read it, but the book set off huge red flags for me. I think there are several books out right now that people say are changing their lives that I think are extremely dangerous to the church. Those are, Crazy Love, Not a Fan, and Radical. All these books seem well intentioned and point out the obvious failings of the church today. However, they preach performance based salvation under the veil of revival. Very concerning.


I Have never read that book, "Way of the master".
I have heard that some people have issues with the shack, that it is dangerous to organized religion ( not a bad thing in my view by the way).
I was wrestling with the whole Trinity theology and the Shack "pointed" me in a good direction.
I know that same have issues with God loving us regardless of what we do but to be honest, as a father myself I know that I love my goirsl no matter what they do.
That doesn't mean I'LL let them get away with it or not punish them or not point out when they are wrong, it just means that my love for them is NOT based on what they do but based on the simple fact that I love them and that is what resonated most with me in The Shack.
May I ask what red flags were set off?

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Re: Books ( or anything else) that changed our lives

Postby jlay » Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:16 pm

I have no issue with anything being a danger to organized religion. In fact, I'm for it. :ebiggrin:
So, my issues with The Shack have nothing to do with that. I had a pretty heated debate(nasty) with Bart several years ago about the book. So Paul please understand that I don't wish to go down that road. If someone had approached me five years ago that The Way of the Master was a dangerous book, I would have taken personal offense. So, I understand that. The book meant something to you, and I am not going to try to change anyone's mind about what they personally experience.
I do know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him. I think the book has a strong impact for several reasons. For one, an emotional story line that draws in the reader. Another is the reality that many have grown up in an unloving so called 'Christian' home, or culture. And many people wounded by the church. I know so many, even in my own family, who are scarred by religion. So, in that sense the book is presenting God in a much different way than many have been exposed to. So, there are a lot of people who can relate to the main character.

May I ask what red flags were set off?

Many things. First God is not Aunt Jemima. And I don't mean that in any gender or racial way. The book could have portrayed God as a jolly ol' Santa Claus like character and I'd still have the same issues. The HS is not some mystical gypsy.

People do need to have a right picture of God. Legalistic, finger wagging, bible thumping fundemenalists have presented God as some angry beast waiting to bash our brains in. I understand that, I do. (Still, there is the very real mountaintop God who comes in cloud and thunder.) However, the book doesn't correct the error in my opinion. It simply presents another perspective that is equally in error. And it does so through emotional manipulation. I think that is dangerous. Many will say it's only an allegory, but the problem is it's not written that way at all. Although fiction, it is written as an account of something that could have or actually did happen. In essence trying to say, this is really what the Trinity might be like. And so, in one sense, it tries to speak for God. That is a very slippery slope, IMO.

So, let's put it this way. Supposing The Shack had never been written. Were you any less error to think, "that God was an uncaring and cold God?"

For those who have gone through these things, I'd be much more comfortable recommending Philip Yancey. He writes as one who went through a period where he walked away from God and church.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: Books ( or anything else) that changed our lives

Postby PaulSacramento » Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:56 pm

I totally respect your views my friend.
I will say only this:
It was my understanding that the reason that God was portrayed a certain way was because the lead character would not relate to God in a "male form" because of the issues with His father.
I agree that the HS was a bit, "alternative" for me :)
I love Yancey's work by the way, I highly recommend:
What's so amazing about Grace
The Jesus I never knew.

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Re: Books ( or anything else) that changed our lives

Postby Canuckster1127 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:56 pm

The Shack had a strong impact on me as well and I think I probably ticked a few people off here for liking and promoting it here on the board. ;)

If anyone liked The Shack I would recommend, He Loves Me, by Wayne Jacobson who was one of the editors/co-authors of The Shack.

A good book to examine the theology of The Shack came out recently called Revisiting the Shack, by C. Baxter Kruger that helps those who are interested to see the Trinitarian Theology roots of The Shack and where they come from. C. Baxter Kruger is a former student of T.F. Torrance who is a former student of Karl Barth. Evangelical Theology by Karl Barth is a difficult technical read but it's worth looking at if you want to understand more of it. On the Incarnation by Athanasius is available on Kindle or online for free and it's a good source as well to examine Christian Trinitarianism before Augustine influenced things more in a Neo-Platonist manner.

If any are interested in Trinitarian Theology, I maintain a page on FaceBook that a friend and I manage that puts up several quotes a week from Trinitarian authors, theologians or related areas. It's more a page for encouragement than a deep dive theological page although we occasionally have some good discussions there as well.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Trinitarianism/274624109277834

The last quote I put up there was from Athanasius and it is down below.

“The body of the Word, then, being a real human body, in spite of its having been uniquely formed from a virgin, was of itself mortal and, like other bodies, liable to death. But the indwelling of the Word loosed it from this natural liability, so that corruption could not touch it. Thus is happened that two opposite marvels took place at once: the death of all was consummated in the Lord's body; yet, because the Word was in it, death and corruption were in the same act utterly abolished.”

― St. Athanasius of Alexandria, On the Incarnation


I recently did some posting there recently on why Trinitarian Theology isn't Universalism, which is a common accusation/mis-understanding from some other theological traditions.
Dogmatism is the comfortable intellectual framework of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is more decadent than the worst sexual sin. ~ Dan Allender

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Re: Books ( or anything else) that changed our lives

Postby Canuckster1127 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:06 pm

And Jlay, I recall that conversation way back and I think we did get somewhat heated. I won't retrace it either as I'm fine with others' having their own opinion and I don't need to defend that my opinion is different other than to state that it is and accept that you're entitled to yours. I think The Shack is not an allegory. I see it as a parable and fictional with theological undertone but ultimately a challenge to some forms of reformed, evangelical, theology that has become so ingrained into our collective Christian Culture that using this form is why the book is so effective. It helps people get behind their preconceived views and to see that God is very different than many people have been conditioned to believe. If The Shack accomplishes that, as it did with me and leads others to be willing to look again at God and the nature of God and the Trinity, then I believe it's a good thing and while several things you say have validity in terms of wounded people and the view of the institutional Church those to me are corollary and demonstrate the damage done to people by the commonly accepted views in some of these circles.
Dogmatism is the comfortable intellectual framework of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is more decadent than the worst sexual sin. ~ Dan Allender

http://bartsbarometer.com/

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Re: Books ( or anything else) that changed our lives

Postby PaulSacramento » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:00 pm

Canuckster1127 wrote:The Shack had a strong impact on me as well and I think I probably ticked a few people off here for liking and promoting it here on the board. ;)

If anyone liked The Shack I would recommend, He Loves Me, by Wayne Jacobson who was one of the editors/co-authors of The Shack.

A good book to examine the theology of The Shack came out recently called Revisiting the Shack, by C. Baxter Kruger that helps those who are interested to see the Trinitarian Theology roots of The Shack and where they come from. C. Baxter Kruger is a former student of T.F. Torrance who is a former student of Karl Barth. Evangelical Theology by Karl Barth is a difficult technical read but it's worth looking at if you want to understand more of it. On the Incarnation by Athanasius is available on Kindle or online for free and it's a good source as well to examine Christian Trinitarianism before Augustine influenced things more in a Neo-Platonist manner.

If any are interested in Trinitarian Theology, I maintain a page on FaceBook that a friend and I manage that puts up several quotes a week from Trinitarian authors, theologians or related areas. It's more a page for encouragement than a deep dive theological page although we occasionally have some good discussions there as well.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Trinitarianism/274624109277834

The last quote I put up there was from Athanasius and it is down below.

“The body of the Word, then, being a real human body, in spite of its having been uniquely formed from a virgin, was of itself mortal and, like other bodies, liable to death. But the indwelling of the Word loosed it from this natural liability, so that corruption could not touch it. Thus is happened that two opposite marvels took place at once: the death of all was consummated in the Lord's body; yet, because the Word was in it, death and corruption were in the same act utterly abolished.”

― St. Athanasius of Alexandria, On the Incarnation


I recently did some posting there recently on why Trinitarian Theology isn't Universalism, which is a common accusation/mis-understanding from some other theological traditions.


I am currently reading The Shack Revisited.
Very good work.
Honestly, I have read many books and articles trying to "explain" the Trinity and, IMO, Kruger does a top notch job.

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Re: Books ( or anything else) that changed our lives

Postby Danieltwotwenty » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:59 pm

I just finished reading Mere Christianity, after years of hearing how good it was I finally bought a copy.

I love C.S.Lewis he makes things just so easy to understand and is also very witty and engaging at the same time.

It definitely deepened my understanding of certain parts of Christian philosophy.

My other favourite books are the space trilogy by C.S.Lewis, I love science fiction and found them to be very insightful.

After finishing reading Mere Christianity an agnostic friend of mine told me his mum had died and he started asking questions about my faith because his mum shared that same faith, today I am giving him my copy to read.


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Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.Amen.

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Re: Books ( or anything else) that changed our lives

Postby Canuckster1127 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:40 pm

Paul, I agree with your assessment on Kruger. He's one of my favorite authors as of late.

Another one, who is a lesser know student of Torrance (and a classmate of Kruger's in Doctoral studies) is Gary Dedo. He has a guide here on issues commonly cited in The Shack that I think is a worthwhile read for those who assume that the common criticism leveled toward it have a lot of merit.

http://www.ivpress.com/title/disc/32-supplement.pdf
Dogmatism is the comfortable intellectual framework of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is more decadent than the worst sexual sin. ~ Dan Allender

http://bartsbarometer.com/

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Re: Books ( or anything else) that changed our lives

Postby Storyteller » Tue Jan 20, 2015 7:49 am

I loved The Shack!

Found Finding God in The Shack really interesting too.

The Shack, for me, showed me that God is a personal God and helped me understand The Trinity too.

I guess the book that really started my faith was Beyond Belief, will have to see who it`s by but it answered a lot of questions for me.
Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof - Kahlil Gibran

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Re: Books ( or anything else) that changed our lives

Postby Starhunter » Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:35 pm

I came across some of Ellen White's writings on the net, and after mentioning that Author to this forum, Rick D said she was a false prophet, so I decided to examine and test what I read on the net, and found out that nothing was scripturally incorrect. In fact I was totally amazed how truthful and profound her essays are.

So currently I'm reading Ellen White, I've read most of "The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan," parts of "The Desire of Ages" and "Patriarchs and Prophets." I was able to get nearly all her books from a deceased estate where the occupants wanted to throw the books away. A whole library in mint condition. I have 28 books!

I haven't been posting much lately, as these books have taken up all my attention. I can't believe how much detail I have found out the history of Israel, the life of Christ and the entire Christian dispensation, and the future. I could not believe how accurate the predictions are and how they are happening right now.

I have found out why the churches have banned and forbidden her writings, and why she is called a false prophet, because she is telling the truth, and to date I have not found one topic which cannot be supported from scripture. Wow, what a find.

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Re: Books ( or anything else) that changed our lives

Postby RickD » Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:48 pm

Starhunter wrote:I came across some of Ellen White's writings on the net, and after mentioning that Author to this forum, Rick D said she was a false prophet, so I decided to examine and test what I read on the net, and found out that nothing was scripturally incorrect. In fact I was totally amazed how truthful and profound her essays are.

So currently I'm reading Ellen White, I've read most of "The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan," parts of "The Desire of Ages" and "Patriarchs and Prophets." I was able to get nearly all her books from a deceased estate where the occupants wanted to throw the books away. A whole library in mint condition. I have 28 books!

I haven't been posting much lately, as these books have taken up all my attention. I can't believe how much detail I have found out the history of Israel, the life of Christ and the entire Christian dispensation, and the future. I could not believe how accurate the predictions are and how they are happening right now.

I have found out why the churches have banned and forbidden her writings, and why she is called a false prophet, because she is telling the truth, and to date I have not found one topic which cannot be supported from scripture. Wow, what a find.

Starhunter,

Ellen White was a false prophet. Just do a simple google search and see for yourself.

There's enough here to throw up a red flag:
http://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/white.htm
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Re: Books ( or anything else) that changed our lives

Postby Canuckster1127 » Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:55 pm

Ellen White has some good materials. She also has some that in my opinion are a bit off the wall.

The issue I have with how some Seventh Day Adventists use her material is that she's treated as if she's scripture itself.
Dogmatism is the comfortable intellectual framework of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is more decadent than the worst sexual sin. ~ Dan Allender

http://bartsbarometer.com/


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